Every month, Jobboom profiles an employer that is a leader in their industry to shed some light on the business cultures, staffing needs and recruitment methods of top organizations. This month we look at SherWeb.
For more than 20 years, SherWeb has assisted businesses with cloud-based products and solutions to meet their technology needs. In that time SherWeb has expanded rapidly, particularly in the past two years, during which the company grew from 180 employees to nearly 500. This summer, SherWeb will take their operations to the next level with the opening of new offices in Longueuil.
We spoke with Patrick Simoneau, talent acquisition manager for SherWeb.
JOBBOOM What are the main types of employment available with SherWeb?
Patrick Simoneau Currently, we’re looking to fill positions in many of the departments that are fundamental to an IT company, such as system administrators, network and security specialists, software developers, technical support staff and product managers. We also have openings in marketing and administration.
Our technical support department is expanding rapidly so we are looking for support specialists with different levels of experience, as well as experts in customer service.
JBM: In terms of recruitment, what positions do you have the most difficulty filling?
P.S. Specialized positions are more difficult to fill, since they call for people with particular training and rarer skill sets. This is especially true in Sherbrooke, where the talent pool is smaller. Our new offices close to Montreal will allow us to access a larger pool of talent.
JBM: Do you find that recruiting in Sherbrooke is more of a challenge, or does it have its own benefits?
P.S. As I said, the talent pool is smaller, so finding qualified candidates is our primary challenge. The upside is that the Eastern Township region in known as a great place to live, so this helps us attract candidates, in particular young families.
We’ve definitely reached a stage of growth where finding all the talent we need has become difficult, since we’ve been limited to recruiting in Sherbrooke. This is why we’re opening the Longueuil office – it will be able to accommodate around 200 people, primarily in technical support, but also some specialized positions.
JBM: What is SherWeb’s policy on telecommuting?
P.S. We don’t have a particular policy in this regard. We have some employees who work from home occasionally, but generally our employees work at our offices. Currently, our teams in Montreal are working from a temporary office while waiting for the new office to be ready.
We also have several employees and collaborators who are based in the United States and these people work from home – but in Québec, we all work at the office.
JBM: What are the main values of SherWeb?
P.S. We believe in passion; being focused on results; paying attention to the market; integrity; and financial strength. In terms of recruitment, we look primarily for candidates with passion. In our field, it’s fairly easy to identify people who are passionate. We also believe strongly in transparency; from the president down to our team leaders and technicians, we all are focused on integrity in what we do.
We also maintain a strong engagement with our community. We work closely with several community organizations, particularly in the Sherbrooke region, for example the Rock-Guertin Foundation which collects perishable goods, as well as the Leucan challenge, which collects funds for kids with cancer. This is a cause we feel particularly strongly about.
JBM: What are some essential qualities you look for in your employees?
P.S. We strive to hire people whose values align with our own. Our competitors are major players in the cloud computing space and include Google, Microsoft, Intermedia and others – we need passionate, results-oriented people who are aware of the needs of the market in order to compete effectively.
SherWeb provides our employees with all the support and amenities they need to succeed in their positions and to enjoy their work, including a modern work environment, game room, 5-a-7’s that we call our IT Cafés, and many other benefits. We aim for a good balance of “Work hard, play hard”.
JBM: What are your qualities as an employer, and what distinguishes you from other employers?
P.S. First and foremost, we operate in an industry that is growing rapidly. Our Cloud solutions are innovative, stimulating and present interesting technical and professional challenges for our employees. Not only do we build, use and bring cutting-edge products to market, but the industry we’re a part of is also very dynamic. It’s motivating for our employees to contribute to the global success of SherWeb in this industry: every one of our employees has a real, tangible impact on our business goals. I believe these factors distinguish our company from our competitors.
JBM: What does SherWeb do to attract and retain talent?
P.S. Without a doubt, our unique organizational culture is an attractor for candidates. We try to articulate, very clearly, a precise vision of what it means to be a SherWebber so that candidates on the job market can gain some advance insight into what it’s like to work here.
The same cultural experience that we promote externally is concretized in our internal practices, which also help us retain top talent. In recent years we’ve also been certified as a “Remarkable Employer”, based on an internal survey that allows us to determine the level of satisfaction of our employees with our internal practices.
JBM: Outside of the professional opportunities and pleasant working environment, what motivates SherWeb employees?
P.S. I would say professional challenges and team relationships. Because competition is at the heart of our industry and the technology that we work with, there are tremendous challenges to be met going forward. Our employees, who are passionate and ambitious, are inspired and ready to face these challenges.
JBM: How does SherWeb encourage the career development of its employees?
P.S. We pay close attention to the desires of our employees in terms of professional development, and we do our best to align their goals with the needs of the company. Of course, we also offer different types of training to support their growth and advancement. Our employees have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and technologies at SherWeb, and this environment that also contributes to their professional development. Open positions in the company are always offered internally as well as externally, which allows employees to express their interest in any new challenges that may arise.
JBM: How would you describe the ambiance at SherWeb?
P.S. It’s dynamic, friendly, collaborative and ego-free. We work in the spirit of “the best idea wins”, regardless of where in the company hierarchy the idea originated from. In fact, there’s very little emphasis on hierarchy at SherWeb. Our leaders take the attitude of the conductor of an orchestra, rather than an authority figure. This makes for a relaxed working environment, which does a lot to foster a sense of team spirit.